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Identifying Reticent Respondents: Assessing the Quality of Survey Data on Corruption and Values

Author

Listed:
  • Omar Azfar

    () (IRIS Center, Department of Economics, University of Maryland)

  • Peter Murrell

    () (Department of Economics, University of Maryland)

Abstract

Randomized response methods, which were designed to elicit candid answers to sensitive questions, have not succeeded in eliminating reticence in survey responses. We implement a methodology that effectively stands the randomized response technique on its head, using it to identify reticent respondents. In a sample of Romanian company officials, we identify a specific 10% of respondents as reticent with near certainty and estimate that roughly 40% of the whole sample were actually reticent. The identifiably reticent respondents admit to corruption interactions significantly less often than others do. They are also more likely to state that it is impermissible to break socially beneficial rules. We show that reticence is related to the respondent's age and the colonial heritage of the respondent's region. These results suggest some difficulties in making cross-country comparisons of corruption and of values using the types of survey data often employed in social science research and policy analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Omar Azfar & Peter Murrell, 2005. "Identifying Reticent Respondents: Assessing the Quality of Survey Data on Corruption and Values," Electronic Working Papers 05-001, University of Maryland, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:umd:umdeco:05-001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. repec:umd:umdeco:murrellromania1 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay, 2008. "Governance Indicators: Where Are We, Where Should We Be Going?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, January.
    2. Elizabeth Asiedu & James Freeman, 2009. "The Effect of Corruption on Investment Growth: Evidence from Firms in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Transition Countries ," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 200-214, May.
    3. Clarke, George, 2011. "Lying about firm performance: Evidence from a survey in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 35382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Olivier Armantier & Amadou Boly, 2008. "Can Corruption Be Studied in the Lab? Comparing a Field and a Lab Experiment," CIRANO Working Papers 2008s-26, CIRANO.
    5. Friesenbichler, Klaus S. & Selenko, Eva & Clarke, George R.G., 2015. "How much of a nuisance is greasing the palms? A study on job dedication and attitudes towards corruption reports under answer bias control," MPRA Paper 67331, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Clarke George R, 2011. "Are Managers' Perceptions of Constraints to Growth Reliable? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in South Africa," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28, August.
    7. Olken, Benjamin A., 2009. "Corruption perceptions vs. corruption reality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 950-964, August.
    8. Clarke, George R.G., 2011. "How Petty is Petty Corruption? Evidence from Firm Surveys in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1122-1132, July.
    9. Clarke, George, 2012. "Manufacturing firms in Africa: Some stylized facts about wages and productivity," MPRA Paper 36122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Krisztina Kis-Katos & Günther G. Schulze, 2013. "Corruption in Southeast Asia: a survey of recent research," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 27(1), pages 79-109, May.
    11. Heath, Rachel, 2014. "Women’s Access to Labor Market Opportunities, Control of Household Resources, and Domestic Violence: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 32-46.
    12. Shafiq, M. Najeeb, 2015. "Aspects of Moral Change in India, 1990–2006: Evidence from Public Attitudes toward Tax Evasion and Bribery," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 136-148.
    13. Clarke, George, 2012. "Do reticent managers lie during firm surveys?," MPRA Paper 37634, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Jensen, Nathan M & Rahman, Aminur, 2011. "The silence of corruption : identifying underreporting of business corruption through randomized response techniques," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5696, The World Bank.
    15. Richard M. Scheffler & Christopher H. Herbst & Christophe Lemiere & Jim Campbell, 2016. "Health Labor Market Analyses in Low- and Middle-Income Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 25137.
    16. World Bank, 2011. "Republic of Tajikistan - Country Economic Memorandum : Tajikistan’s Quest for Growth: Stimulating Private Investment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2761, The World Bank.
    17. World Bank, 2008. "Bulgaria - Investment Climate Assessment : Volume 2. Detailed Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7868, The World Bank.
    18. World Bank Group, 2014. "Lao PDR Investment Climate Assessment 2014 : Policy Uncertainty in the Midst of a Natural Resources Boom," World Bank Other Operational Studies 21506, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corruption; survey methods; randomized response; regulation; Romania;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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